Featured Postcards: Chester, Scranton, Atlantic City and Columbus.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

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At-Steven-and-Megan's--Savannah








Vietnam vet Randy on guitar, playing Neil Young, Johnny Cash, Van Morrison and the Beatles. Across from him, Charlie, a rather unhinged character who kept telling me to call a judge and a sherif in South Carolina, "You call them up and you tell them, Fuck you! From Charlie!

I'm going to kill them. I'm going to stand next to them, like I'm standing next to you right now, and I'm going to shoot each of them. Just one time!

I don't need 10 or 15 shots. I'll shoot each of them just one time. One shot! That's all I'll need.

I've been shot at 10 or 15 times, and I've been hit twice, and don't let them tell you, it don't hurt, cause it hurts!

I'll kill my sister too, for fucking my life up.

You call them, and you say, Fuck you! From Charlie!"

Randy started the festivity with, "Hey, it's a cracker party," and since I brought the beer and vodka, I was an honorary cracker for the evening, I guess.

Megan kept throwing up. She said she had had some bullshit pork fried rice from a Chinese takeout two days earlier.

Randy and Charlie lived in nearby tents. There were six people altogether in this wooded area near a creek.

It was nearly pitch dark inside the RV, so the light was coming from the flash on my camera.



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About Me

Born in Vietnam in 1963, I came to the US in 1975, and have also lived in Italy and England. I'm the author of two books of stories, Fake House (2000) and Blood and Soap (2004), five of poems, All Around What Empties Out (2003), American Tatts (2005), Borderless Bodies (2006), Jam Alerts (2007) and Some Kind of Cheese Orgy (2009), and a novel, Love Like Hate (2010). I've been anthologized in Best American Poetry 2000, 2004, 2007, Great American Prose Poems from Poe to the Present, Postmodern American Poetry: a Norton Anthology (vol. 2) and Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion, among other places. I'm also editor of Night, Again: Contemporary Fiction from Vietnam (1996) and The Deluge: New Vietnamese Poetry (2013), and translator of Night, Fish and Charlie Parker, the poetry of Phan Nhien Hao (2006). Blood and Soap was chosen by Village Voice as one of the best books of 2004. My writing has been translated into Italian, Spanish, French, Dutch, German, Portuguese, Japanese, Korean, Arabic, Icelandic and Finnish, and I've been invited to read in London, Cambridge, Brighton, Paris, Berlin, Reykjavik, Toronto and all over the US. I've also published widely in Vietnamese.